Danny Burnt the Grilled Cheese

October 11, 2007
Danny put the cheese in-between the two slices of bread and set it on the pan. He turned the knob on the stove on, and with a click click click gas fumes shot out of the vent.

With a sigh, Danny left the stove and sat at the kitchen table. He wondered what Jen would say when she came home and he told her the news. Probably she would throw something at him. Perhaps, Danny though, she might even cry. Danny hated it when Jen cried. He never knew whether to pat her on the back or to stand off at a distance or to shake her like they shook hysterical ladies in old movies. Danny decided he might have to do all three if Jen cried when he told her that the landlord was evicting them.

Danny looked around the apartment. The garbage bin was close to overfilling, the sink was piled with dirty dishes, there was a dead fish in a bowl on the counter (was that what the neighbors complained smelled?) and there were bills stacked next to the stove.

The stove! Danny jumped up and dashed to the grilled cheese, which was making a crispy burning sound. He grabbed it off the pan with his bare hand, and then yelped as it seared his fingers. He flung the grilled cheese across the room and ran to the dirty sink. Shoving aside some bowls with a clatter, Danny ran his burned finger under the water. He looked mournfully at the reddened digit.

With a sigh, Danny turned back to the stove. Holy flip! The bills sitting next to the open flame had caught on fire! Danny yelled as he grabbed a towel and began beating the disintegrating bills. With his other hand, he angrily tuned that stupid stove off. There was a big black mark on the pan where the grilled cheese had sat.

The fiery bills had burned themselves out, but Danny put them under cold water to make sure. He then hung the soggy electric, water, rent, and life insurance bills up to dry on the blinds on a window with bobby pins to hold them in place.

Grumbling, Danny went to retrieve the gilled cheese, which was now sitting on the floor in front of Danny’s favorite armchair. He crouched by the destroyed sandwich and picked it up. It was so limp in his hands. Limp and lifeless.

“I killed it,” Danny thought, and quite suddenly found himself crying. Sniffling and snuffling and sobbing, Danny couldn’t wrench his eyes from the blackened bottom of the ruined grilled cheese. He pulled is sleeve to his nose and blew hard and honking.

Then, feeling slightly better, he tenderly carried the grilled cheese to the kitchen, where he reverently laid it in the garbage can. One final sniff and he turned away, and went straight to the phone to order a pizza.

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